Power Day with Volleyball

Our Off-Season Day 2️⃣ (Wednesday) lift with volleyball, our ‘power’ or ‘contrast/complex day, where we place a large emphasis on developing a more explosive and powerful athlete.

Since we have an older group this year that has a higher training age, we are experimenting with placing more traditional strength work one day (Monday), speed-strength/contrast/complex one day (Wednesday), and then a work capacity day (Friday), all based off some of the work Anthony Donskov has been putting out.

✅ Band Resisted Kettlebell Swing

✅ Trap Bar Dead Lift paired with Seated Box Jump

✅ Strap Row paired with Overhead Slam

✅ 1-Leg RDL

✅ Alternating DB Bench Press

✅ Core and Corrective Work Sprinkled In

Random Thoughts: March Edition

Another month, another post full of random thoughts that have been going through my head. Hope it sparks a little thought in people and you enjoy!

random thoughts

  1. The basics are tried, tested and true yet they don’t get the love and ‘likes’ because they don’t have the same sizzle as the new stuff. Any good coach will realize that their program should still be based off of the basics.
  2. A football player from Iowa Hang Cleaned 450×3 (maybe it was 4???) yet all anyone wanted to talk about was the fact he was using straps. One question…who cares?!?!
  3. Good movers in the weight room = good movers in sport.
  4. A lot of people have been doing more pulls with their Olympic work and not catching, which is fine. However, I feel there is a huge benefit to catching the weight, most notably the ability to absorb force and decelerate the weight.
  5. Read for different reasons. Read to learn. Read to lift your spirits. Read for fun. Read for entertainment. But most importantly, read.
  6. When you take care of yourself, physically and mentally, everything around you and in your life becomes better.
  7. Always have a beginners mindset, in every single area of your life.
  8. What are the best coaches in the world doing? You should probably do those same things.
  9. Don’t forget that people want to be coached by people they know, by people they like, and by people they trust. If you aren’t checking those boxes don’t be surprised if the people you coach aren’t completely bought in.
  10.  Pain never precedes function.

Our Day 1 with Volleyball

Our Off-Season Day 1️⃣ (Monday) lift with volleyball is our strength day where we place a large emphasis on simply developing a stronger athlete and focusing on more concentric based work.

Since we have an older group this year that has a higher training age, we are experimenting with placing more traditional concentric based strength work one day  as you see here, speed-strength/contrast/complex on our second day (Wednesday), and then a work capacity day (Friday) where we use a combination of eccentric and yielding isometric work, all based off some of the work Anthony Donskov has been putting out.

✅ Pause Trap Bar Jump Squat

✅ Safety Bar Split Squat

✅ Dumbbell Row

✅ Sled March

✅ Push Up

✅ Core and Corrective Work Sprinkled In  

Conditioning the Volleyball Athlete

I was asked the other day if I could explain our thought process when it comes to conditioning volleyball.

✅ We run once per week. Volleyball athletes jump and land too much as it is, placing a ton of stress on their hip/knee/ankle/low back and adding a lot more via running is probably not a great idea. We typically start with tempo runs for 3-4 weeks then progress into shuttle runs and building up the distance (75 yard ➡️ 150 yard ➡️ 300 yard) over the course of the off-season.

✅ We Slideboard a lot. It’s gets them into the frontal plane which everyone could use more of. It keeps their feet on the ground and adds very little wear and tear to their bodies. It trains the adductors/abductors (groin) in a functional manner.

✅ Assault Bike Work. We do 20:10’s, 10:20’s, 2 Mile Ride for time and other protocols on the bike. Like the Slideboard, the bike adds very little wear and tear to the body — you can condition extremely hard on the bike with very little negatives (besides it being brutally hard).

✅ Sleds. We perform some continuous sled work (2-4 minutes) for a couple sets sometimes for some added aerobic work. Lot harder then it looks.

Long story short. We try to keep their feet on the ground as much as possible. We get in the frontal plane. We take advantage of the bikes — they may be our #1 conditioning tool for a jumping athlete like 🏐

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy! hello monday

  1. As I head into the off-season with most teams I find myself doing more isometric and eccentric work. Easy to forget that there is more then just a concentric muscle contraction.
  2. I am about halfway through David Goggins book, and I may be in the minority but it hasn’t done much for me yet. Maybe the second half will be better?
  3. Success tip: don’t associate with people that don’t read.
  4. Take your work seriously but not yourself.

S&C Week in Review: 3/10

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into. Like every other week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts. Enjoy! Weekend Review


Some really good podcasts to listen to this week. The Strength Coach Podcast is always a great listen and the same could be said about Mike Robertston’s Physical Prep Podcast. If I were to only recommend one podcast this week though, it would be Just Fly Performance with Cory Schlesinger – the guy is great to listen to, his take on strength training is a nice change of pace from the standard/normal take.

Strength Coach Podcast #249

Just Fly Performance with Cory Schlesinger

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Jerry Palmieri

5 Things You Can Do Today to be a Better Coach by Mike Robertson


Tough to pick just one, but I really enjoyed the simple thought process to the article on tempo work by the guys over at Movement as Medicine. People always forget that there are more ways to get strong and chase adaptation then just loading the bar up and adding more weight, eccentric, isometric and tempo work in general is a great change of pace and shock to the system.

Mastering the Basics Must Precede Embracing a Specific Methodology by John O’Neil

Unilateral Leg Training by Carl Valle

Are These Strength and Conditioning Practices Overhyped? by Mike Boyle

Tempo RFE Split Squats by Movement as Medicine

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Most Popular Instagram Post of the Week (throwback as I was on vacation this week and stayed off Instagram)

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Probably one of the big things we do differently then other hockey programs ➡️ we don’t bench press with a barbell in-season nor did we bench press with a barbell much this off-season. The last year we have done very little barbell benching. Why❓ In my opinion most hockey players don’t have the best posture in the world, living in that classic shoulders rolled forward posture, in large part because of the demands of the sport. Because of that, we tend to focus more on what we would consider more shoulder friendly pressing movements; 💥Landmine Press variations 💥DB Bench Press and DB Incline Press .l 💥1DB Bench Press and Alternating DB Bench variations (flat and incline) 💥Push Ups When the season ends and the athlete spends much less time on the ice and we can clean up some of the sport related posture issues we may consider adding back benching with a barbell, though I don’t think we’ve lost a bit of strength by using other pressing variations and may stick to leaving it out of the program all together. Unit then, it’s a simple risk:reward scenario for us, especially in-season.

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Off-Season Work Capacity with Volleyball

Our Off-Season Day 3 (Friday) lift with volleyball, what I would call our ‘repetitive effort’ or ‘work capacity’ day, where the volume is high but the intensity is low, using both yielding isometric and eccentric strength work.

Since we have an older group this year that has a higher training age, we are experimenting with placing more traditional strength work one day (Monday), speed-strength/contrast/complex one day (Wednesday), and then a work capacity day (Friday) which you see here, all based off some of the work Anthony Donskov has been putting out.

✅ RFE Split Squat (Multi-Holds during last set)
✅ Bat Wings (Multi-Holds during last set)
✅ Eccentric Only Slideboard Leg Curl
✅ :5:5 Push Up (5 seconds down, 5 second hold)

Lower Body Training: Uni-Lateral vs. Bilateral

A lot of talk (debate) about bilateral or unilateral lower body training for athletes. Seems like strength coaches want to make this an all or nothing thing, when in reality a good strength program utilized both.

Without a doubt I can say that the teams/athletes I work with perform primarily unilateral lower body training. It’s our main way to push lower body max strength via RFE Split Squats, 1-Leg RDL’s, heavy Sled Marches and 1-Leg Squats. We push these movements relatively hard and I’d personally argue these movements have more carryover to sport and are critical for injury prevention.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t perform bilateral lifts. We Trap Bar Deadlift, a lot of times pairing it with some type of jump in our Contrast/complex training. We Goblet Squat to train the pattern.

We just don’t Back or Front Squat — I think we can accomplish what we need to accomplish from a training standpoint via heavy 1-Leg work and Trap Bar DL. Just my two cents.